Sexism

Sexism has never been so much fun.

Ba-ack step, tri-ple step, tri-ple step, ba-ack step, spi-in left…

I had way too much fun swing dancing this weekend. When I sat down to blog about it on my personal blog today, I started realizing just how much gender roles are infused into that seemingly-innocent passtime. I thought back to my comment in response to Tom’s giving-up-music post, how it was admirable to be willing to give up something you like because something else is more important. I realized swing dancing might be that for me. Now, I know I only just got back into it, and it’s not an ingrained part of my life (yet; it very well could be soon). When near a thrift store today, I stopped in to see if they had any heel-less shoes I’d want to wear dancing.

The difference between music/secular music and dancing is the music is a personal morality issue, which the prolific YAR posters tend not to be concerned about, while the dancing definitely could contribute to social sexist pressures and all that. (more…)

Lancaster Congregation to Ordain a Woman on June 24th

Taken from the online edition of The Mennonite

Lancaster Congregation to Ordain a Woman on June 24

LANCASTER, Pa.—More than 60 people from nine congregations gathered at the James Street Mennonite Church on May 16 to discuss how they might respond to a recent decision by Lancaster Mennonite Conference to not allow ordination for women (see Recommendation to Ordain Women Fails on page 19.)

“Very low on the list of options was to leave LMC,” said Linford King, overseer-bishop for the Lancaster City District, “and join another conference or start a new conference. There was a strong move to stay connected to LMC and go ahead with ordinations. The Lancaster district of LMC has formed its own ‘credentialing committee’ to interview candidates. The major impetus to move in this direction is the 1995 Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective, our full participation as members with Mennonite Church USA, and the recent Executive Board Affirmation for the Gifts of Women. The group did not engage in the ‘administrative arrangement’ with another conference. There was also some talk of ‘taking a leave of absence’ from LMC and entering a ‘safe house’ free of conference policies and participation.”

James Street Mennonite church is planning for a service of ordination on June 24 for Elizabeth Nissley.—Posted at 10:30 a.m. on May 22 by Anna Groff

the problem with feminism

In the past several months, whenever the issue of gender equality has come up in conversation, I’ve heard several of my white male twenty-something friends express frustration at the guilt they feel about being white men. A good friend once said to me, “I feel like I have two strikes against me: one for my ethnicity and one for my gender.” I don’t think anyone knowing these men would say that they don’t have something (perhaps rather significant) to contribute in all of this, and yet the question persists: in our attempts to diversify and enrich our churches and organizations, how do we avoid disempowerment? I’m uncomfortable and dismayed whenever feminism is used as an easy scapegoat, but I’ve never really known how to respond. This post, however, touched on something I’ve been trying to articulate for a few years now: “Men are in trouble because of the feminist movement, but it’s not feminism’s fault.” I’m particularly interested in what the men who read and contribute to this blog think. Some of you have put way more time and energy into this topic than I have. Thoughts?

a sign of hope

As someone who raised a bit of a stink about the whole Lancaster Mennonite Conference-vote-to-not-ordain-women thing, I want to direct your attention to some good news. There was also a letter from the bishops recently to people in the conferece that I would also call hopeful.

So, to the Mennonite Church USA Executive Board, I want to say “Thank you.” I must confess, I wasn’t sure you had it in you, but with a little time for pondering and for the dust to settle, I see hope, strength, and wisdom in this resolution. I guess I had too little faith. Well done, the church will be better for it. I’m curious to see how this will play out.

To the bishops – you are asking some good questions and bringing up some important issues and I’m also curious to see where this will go.

Lancaster Conference Credentialed Leaders Respond to Recommendation Regarding the Ordination of Women

Good grief! I need to be studying, but I was sucked in by the latest poll (look to the right)[update 4.15.07 – click here for info about the poll]. Whoever put that up deserves a gold star!! Ever since I read the report about the ordination of women in the Lancaster Conference News last month I have been thinking about posting something about this (Katie already did). I’ve copied the relevant report below from the February 2007 issue. I think the poll speaks for itself; its commentary is more poignant than any I could muster. (more…)

Ain’t I a Woman?

I ain’t actually, but Sojourner Truth was. I copied this from the Modern History Sourcebook.

Sojourner Truth (1797-1883): Ain’t I A Woman?
Delivered in 1851 at the Women’s Convention, Akron, Ohio

Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that ‘twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what’s all this here talking about? (more…)

blog against sexism day

That’s right. Today is not only International Women’s Day, but Blog Against Sexism Day – and it’s not over yet, so I can still slip in under the wire, because do you know how awful it would be to blog against sexism on the wrong day? That’s right, if we went off blogging about sexism more than one day of the year, women would start to feel like they “deserved to have equal rights” (Thanks Conservapedia! (via Twisty Faster)).

There are actually many women out there already blogging about this much better than I will. Here are links to just a few of them:

If it hasn’t been mentioned before, Shrub has a very good primer on privilege for men. There are also some great posts from a few good men out there. Please link to more blogs by men or women in the comments. Link it up against sexism!

I’ve been thinking lately about my position of privilege – the first tenet of which is “I don’t have to care or even notice that my privilege exists, so please don’t bring it up or I’ll get defensive.” It’s the first part that I’ve been thinking about, because not getting defensive (not reacting negatively) is much easier than acting positively in the first place. And it’s not radical to boot. No golden stars for that. (more…)

Introducing myself: An excuse to navel-gaze.

I’m Skylark, a self-described YAR who found this place totally by accident. I was looking for info on Jerry Jenkins coming to Kidron Mennonite because I’m the newspaper reporter who covers Kidron. This was the first hit in a Google search. Hi Tom. :-) I got sucked into Tom’s post about his concerns over Jerry Jenkins’ visit. One post lead to another, and I really like this place.

A little about me: I’m 23, female, Mennonite, pacifist, and vegetarian. Over the summer I followed the progress of Bike Movement (Denver Steiner and I go to the same church), and of course I covered it when BikeMovement came to Kidron Mennonite in August. It seems like almost anything that happens event-wise in Kidron is at that church. :-P Not that there are many other options for venues. That put me in contact with an area Christian young adult group. I’ve been a part of the group since. I’ve totally gotten on board with Denver’s push at church to create safe spaces where young adults and others can ask “unsafe” questions and explore issues we would otherwise ignore in favor of more sanitized church activities. My mentor and I have gotten to know each other a lot better lately, and we’ve known each other since I was 13, so that’s pretty cool. (more…)